“Chapters” & “Mad Love”

This is not the first time that “JoJo” and “Yuna” have appeared on this blog. However it is the first time that I have mentioned them in the same post. I thought it would be fitting as they both brought out sensational albums last year, which I have listened to multiple times from start to finish.

“Chapters” is the third album from Yuna, which in my opinion is a solid body of work and the critics seem to agree. It claimed the #13 spot in Rolling Stone’s 20 Best R&B Albums of 2016 (which is a pretty big deal). There are obviously tracks that stand out for me on the album (“Lanes“, “Used to Love You” ft Jhené Aiko, “Time”) but on the whole, every track deserves to be listened to and has earned its rightful place. * You know an album is good when you can listen to it all the way through without skipping the album tracks to get to the singles and vice versa.

With Yuna, I had a feeling that she was bringing out a new album because of the sudden stream of new music on my YouTube homepage (“Places to Go” & “Crush” ft Usher). Whereas with JoJo, I kind of stumbled upon “Mad Love” and thank goodness that I eventually did or else I could have missed out on hearing some great songs like”FAB” ft Remy Ma. With YouTube’s help I was able to listen to the entire “Mad Love” album. #YT saves the day!!!

I have got to say I have a soft spot for FAB (Fake Ass Bitches), especially the chorus which is so bad ass and in your face. It is one of those choruses, which should be sung as loudly as possible.

Lyrics:

Fake ass bitches
When they smile in your face, but behind you it ain’t well wishes
When they eatin’ all the food off your plate and they don’t do dishes
When they words and they actions blur and they don’t know different
No time for these fake ass bitches

I like the song she does with Alessia Cara (I Can Only) who is also an amazing singer and whose song “Here” I will cherish forever (It’s not everyday that you find a song that you can relate to on such a personal level).

There is actually a video of JoJo, Alessia Cara and JinJoo (DNCE guitarist) performing “I Can Only” in a public bathroom!!! Science has proved that you sound better when singing in a bathroom (something to do with the acoustics) so maybe that’s the idea they were going for 😉 All I can say is that they all sound like stellar performers !!!

Yuna II

Yuna

 

JoJo

JoJo

 

Advertisements

The Daley that got away…

When you type “Daley” into Google, the sites that come up are mostly related to British diver, Tom Daley. However, flame-haired singer “Daley” (whose full name is Gareth Daley) is another Daley that the UK needs to get behind.

Years ago now, I remember watching Wretch 32 perform the song “Long Way Home” on Later with Jools Holland. For this particular song, he was joined on stage by Daley whose chorus perfectly complemented Wretch 32’s raw and hard-hitting verses. After that episode of “Jools”, Daley’s voice and certainly his look had left an impression on my mind so I downloaded his “Those who Wait” EP. This EP features “Alone Together“, the track he did with Marsha Ambrosius which has become one of his most successful songs and is definitely a fan favourite!!! Hailing from Manchester (England), the home-grown talent has also made sweet music with artists such as Jessie J (Remember Me), Pharrell Williams (Look Up) and the Gorillaz (Doncamatic).

Daley has already got a debut album (Days & Nights) under his belt and he has just recently released his second called ” The Spectrum.” So fingers crossed he will be touring soon* me thinks*, and guess what he is…but all the dates that I have seen are only in the States 😦 Across the pond, Daley has a huge following of fans and rightly so because his voice is beautiful, full of soul and he hits those high notes like the pro he is!!! His music is adored in the United States and the love that he receives out there is much more than in the UK. As much as it saddens me that I don’t know when he will next make an appearance on home-soil*, I’m glad that he is making a name for himself in the USA.

The first single off his latest album is called, “Until the Pain is Gone” and it features Jill Scott. I can’t wait to hear the other songs off this record because I know they are gonna be spectacular!!! XxX

*Okay scratch that, I’ve just found out that Daley is going on a World Tour and he will be coming to Europe, America and the UK!!!! 🙂

Daley

Daley rocking his curly bouffant and shades!!!

 

New Music Round-Up

I think its been 3 or 4 months since I last posted in my blog and I genuinely feel so bad about this 😦 The reason why my posts have been so thin on the ground lately is because I am currently doing a Master’s degree at university…Yep, I have returned back to the days of being a student and the stress of “oh” so many deadlines and assignments. I’m not gonna lie but this Master’s is really taking it out of me!!!

Anyway in the months that I have been absent, I have still managed to hear plenty of brand, new music. Therefore, in this post I am just going to round-up all the new music that I have listened to in the last few months (below):

  1. Fenech-Soler- Cold Light– The electro-disco group recently released third album, “Zilla” which features the song Cold Light. For a little while, I was not too sure about what I thought of the track because it sounded quite different from their other songs. However once I got over that minor detail, the song grew into an absolute favourite of mine 🙂
  2. Gallant, Tablo, Eric NamCave Me In – The three artists are all incredible on this dreamy RnB track. I would love to see them collaberate on another song together or possibly form a boy-band 😉 (just kidding, not kidding)
  3. Will HeardI Better Love You– This song is from his new EP (Trust). After lending his vocals to songs with Rudimental and Tourist. I’m glad that he is now releasing his own music and people seem to be loving it!!!
  4. Zak AbelUnstable– Another great song from an artist that deserves way more attention at the moment.
  5.  DJ Fresh vs. DiploBang Bang (R City, Selah Sue & Craig David)– The song features several different artists, however it was Selah Sue’s smoky vocals that stood out for me. It was music magazine, The Fly (sadly closed for business in 2014) which first got me hooked on Selah Sue’s music after they noted her song, “Raggamuffin” for recommended listening. I don’t know how many people know of the Belgian artist but I’m sure collaborations with huge artists like DJ Fresh and Major Laser will certainly earn her more fans!!!
  6. M.ONot In Love– I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of fantastic tracks that this female trio have brought out 🙂
  7.  JP CooperSeptember Song– His live vocals are raw, soulful and mesmerising, I can’t believe I am only just hearing about this guy 😉 #Exceptional talent
selahsue

Selah Sue

zakabel

Zak Abel

M.O

M.O

gallant tablo eric nam

Tablo, Gallant & Eric Nam

RESIZE-JPCOOPER

JP Cooper

Do not get in the way of Gallant and his McFlurry

I got to know about Gallant, after hearing his song, “Talking to Myself” which was played regularly on the radio. Every time it was played on the radio, I grew more and more interested in the man behind those irresistible and gorgeous vocals. Initially, I thought I was listening to Tyler James, who was a promising contestant on the Voice UK, however it seems that he has taken a step back from the world of music. The last song, I heard from him was “Worry About You” featuring Kano.

Gallant is an artist that has gotten to where he is by working hard and mastering his craft, especially his falsetto. His falsetto is out of this world!!!

Gallant the interviewee vs. Gallant the performer

In interviews, Gallant comes across as a very chilled-out guy, however put him on a stage to sing and he becomes this animated and electric performer. It is like the music brings him to life!!!

I love the quality of his voice, I could listen to it all day and hope it will continue to carry him far and bring him further success in the coming year!!!

All that I have left to say is that he has got one of the best voices around at the moment and also please check out the video below, where he explains why he chose to leave New York for Los Angeles. And like many decisions in life, food always plays a vital role… aye. In Gallant’s case, it was to do with a McFlurry 😉

 

That’s My Girl!!!

Fifth Harmony have brought out a number of singles following their departure from the X-Factor USA in 2012. However, the first song by them to be played on UK radio stations was “Worth It” in 2015, which quickly became a breakout hit and rose to number #3 in the charts.

They have released plenty of catchy songs but I would have to say that out of those, there are probably three songs that I would class as my absolute favourites and would happily play on REPEAT!!! These are “Worth It“, “Boss” and “That’s My Girl.” Their latest offering, “That’s My Girl” is a track that I’m obsessed with at the moment. I love the pre-chorus (sang by Normani) because of its fast-tempo and melody and also the chorus which is so lively and loud 😉

[Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it
Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it
Got some dirt on your shoulder
Then let me brush it off for ya
If you’re feeling me, put your five high
That’s my girl]

GIRL POWER XxX

fifth-harmony-bb3-2015-billboard-03-650

Fifth Harmony

She’s charged up, she’s getting activated

It has been no secret that Cher Lloyd (X-Factor alumnus) has been working hard in the studio and creating new music for some time now. Therefore, it was really exciting when we finally got to hear the fruits of that labour, when she dropped the song, “Activated” in the summer. The first time I listened to it, I thought it was okay, but after giving it a few more listens it has grown into a song that I really like!!!

The chorus is the best part of the song, especially when she sings “When I do the damn thing, just watch me.” It sounds really cool and fresh and the beat makes it impossible to sit/stand still.

Cher Lloyd has a distinctive voice that is very much her own and her audition on the X-Factor is one that I will never forget. It sticks in my mind because she sounded like nothing I had ever heard before on the show and her choice of song was so unexpected. (Turn My Swag On)

Miss Lloyd has been very successful in America, whereas in the UK she is still paying the price for mistakes that she made when she was younger. It is a shame because we have a talented singer on our doorstep who is being over-looked for all the wrong reasons.

cher-lloyd

Cher Lloyd

 

The real talent of the X-Factor

Since its inception, I have managed to watch nearly all the seasons of the X-Factor (I think there were 3 seasons that I definitely missed). The singing, talent show has been on our screens for 12 years and in that time the judging panel, the presenters and the format of the show have gone through various changes. In my opinion, the quality of the X-Factor has dipped in recent years because I sometimes feel that I’m watching a rehearsed reality show rather than a singing competition.

However the X-Factor is a great platform for aspiring musicians and many talented singers have made it onto the show such as Ella Henderson, James Arthur, Cher Lloyd & Rebecca Ferguson. Even though, some people like to criticise the X-Factor, I disagree with those who slate truly incredible artists just because they started out on the programme. Or say they can’t sing live, when they blatantly can and have proved it by singing live, week in and week out on the X-Factor!!!

I was so happy when James Arthur won the X-Factor in 2012, because his voice is exceptional and he pours so much pain and emotion into every note that he sings. He recently brought out new single “Say You Won’t Let Go” which is the first piece of new music that I’ve heard from him in such a loooooong time. After three years of silence, this song re-introduced me to the artist whose voice always left an impression on me, when singing on the X-Factor.

Trust me, James Arthur’s vocals are a pretty big deal- check out his cover of Emeli Sande’s “Hurts” and Ariana Grande’s “Into You.”

World Music Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals In Monte-Carlo

James Arthur

 

My Love is a Kaleidoscope

Guess who’s back…back again…Fenech-Soler tell a friend 😉

Basically, I was just bopping around to some of their old music, when it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t checked in on them for awhile. So I did a quick YouTube search and discovered they had uploaded a new music video only three weeks ago!!!

The new song is called “Kaleidoscope” and after the first listen, it definitely got my seal of approval!!! Plus the music video is so cool…I think we have all crawled inside our duvets expecting to find Narnia or some kind of lost city. In the music video for “Kaleidoscope”, the main protagonist does just that and finds herself in a huge duvet den!!! (after some free-falling inside her bed-sheets may I add)

Fenech-Soler have returned on top form, however they have not returned with the complete line-up. It seems that the four-piece has now halved in size as Daniel Fenech-Soler (bass/keyboard) and Andrew Lindsay (drums) have left the band. Leaving the two “Duffy” brothers as the current members  😉

I hope that going forward, the band will continue to gain more recognition because they create fantastic music. I know they are doing great because they have many supporters and are constantly touring all over the world, however I do wish that more of their tracks were played on the radio 🙂 I remember,”Last Forever”- the toe-tappingly, good song from second album, “Rituals” was played everywhere when it was released in 2012/13.

For the people who have never heard of Fenech-Soler then please check out songs like “Demons“, “Magnetic” & “Stop & Stare“.

After listening to their cover of Jessie J’s “Do It Like A Dude” back in 2011 and also reading an article, which put them inside the same bracket as Friendly Fires and indie-disco … These were the only reasons I needed to check out more of their music and 5 years down the line I’m so glad I did 🙂

fenechsolerband

Fenech- Soler

fenech-soler

Fenech- Soler

Yuna @ Scala

On Tuesday 20th September, Malaysian artist, Yuna will be taking to the stage to perform at SCALA in London. The good news is that I have tickets to this show and the bad news is that I won’t be able to go 😦 So basically, it is just really bad news!!! However, I am happy that she will be in the UK and for the people lucky enough to see her live.

I don’t know how, but somehow Yuna and her music seem to have flown under the radar in the UK. Compared to our neighbours across the pond, they have known about her for much longer and have embraced Yuna like one of their own artists. In America, her songs have done very well and she has also collaborated with many musicians such as Pharrell Williams, The Internet, Kitty Cash, Owl City and Usher.

At the moment, she is currently touring, to promote the release of her latest album, “Chapters”, which seems to include tracks that explore more mature themes and that fall into the realms of RnB and even old school Hip-Hop. Please check out “Places To Go” and it will all make sense!!!

When listening to her earlier music, there were already clues that indicated that her delicate and relaxing voice would suit many different genres. Similarly, I thought the same thing about Demi Lovato whose first two albums were primarily “pop-rock.” Fast forward to the present day and we all know that Miss Lovato has an impressive vocal range and can sing in a variety of styles. E.g. rock, gospel, RnB and blues.

It is sad that I will be missing the only UK show that Yuna had on this particular tour…however here’s to hoping that she will return to the UK soon so that I can experience her songs live!!!

 

344198-yuna

Yuna

 

I Just Want to Live

Lorine Chia’s “I Just Want to Live” is a poignant song about the police brutality that is happening in America.

The music video is a sombre, black-and-white animation, although it does feature some colour. The police car’s flashing lights, the bouquet of flowers left at a vigil and even the shade of lipstick worn by the female protagonist (Lorine Chia) all appear in either red or blue.

In the video it cuts to a young, black man who is running away from a police car. When the vehicle catches up with him, the police officer gets out of the car to confront the man. His gun is drawn. The man holds up both hands but the officer shows no mercy and shoots him. Falling to the ground, one can only assume that the man has been seriously injured or is dead. But why did the officer fire his weapon? Was it an act of self-defense? Did the other man have a weapon too? Sadly, this scene is not too dissimilar from some of the cases that have been recently reported on the news.

In the chorus, Lorine Chia sings the line, “I just want to live” which sounds like it is a plea to the law-enforcers who are harshly targeting people for just living their ordinary lives. When was it a crime to hang out with friends or to buy something from a shop?

Please check out Lorine Chia’s other tracks such as, “Fly High“, “Lost in my Mind” and “Eve’s Perspective.”

Quote from Lorine Chia, “As Nina Simone once said it is our duty as artists to reflect the times. I saw the “State of Grace” video by Talib Kweli and instantly got inspired. I knew Dreambear was the team to help me with this one. Dani is an such amazing artist. I wanted to showcase our present times. I live in constant fear that I or someone close to me could be the next victim of police brutality or racial profiling and all I want to do is just live.” 

 

Lorine-Chia-e1465607284564-620x350

Lorine Chia